GOP Delegate Files Civil Action Against UW Trustees, State of Wyoming
GOP Delegate Lyle Williams is filing a declaratory judgement action against the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees and State of Wyoming, in order to challenge the constitutionality of the university’s weapons policy.
A declaratory judgement action is a civil action where a court makes a legal determination, but does not order that anything be done or award any damages.
Williams was cited for trespassing by the UW Police Department after violating the university’s policy on weapons by open carrying at the UW Convention Center on Friday, April 20, 2018. The university's policy prohibits weapons on its campus.
Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent said in an email that Williams’ civil action is alleging that the criminal civil trespass action is based on his violating UW regulation 2-178, which violates the 2nd Amendment right of US Constitution, as well as Article 1, section 24 of the Wyoming Constitution and Wyoming Statute 6-8-401(a) and (c).
Trent said the Attorney General’s office will be representing the state as to the constitutionality of Statute, as it applies to the regulation. UW legal counsel will represent the university.
Trent said the Albany County Attorney’s office would not be involved in the civil action.
“I am supportive of Mr. Williams exercising his right to determine the constitutionality of a governmental entity prohibiting an individual from carrying a firearm in a governmental building,” Trent said in an email.
Williams' Circuit Court misdemeanor case is being delayed pending the outcome of this civil action. Trent said that at the conclusion of this civil action, if UW’s policy proves to be constitutional, she would assess the case at that time.
“The State is not opposed to stay or continuance of the criminal proceeding against Mr. Williams and waiver of Mr. Williams speedy trial rights pending the outcome of this civil action,” Trent said.